Further Afield Trips asks locals in a town well beyond Vancouver’s city limits where to find the best places to eat, drink, chill, and have a good time. Think of it as the country cousin to The Dishes.
Since staking out a spot in the lot next to Tofino Brewing earlier this year, Toki Doki has been enamouring neighbours and visitors alike by serving up Okonomiyaki (plus bento bowls and Japanese bar snacks) from the kitschy confines of an 80s airstream. We were stoked to hit up Madi and Kei, partners and co-owners of the quirky little Tofino food stand, to get their take on the town during the summertime…
Good morning! Let’s start the day with a walk/hike in nature. Where should we go?
Madi: Head over to the Naa’Waya’Sum Gardens (formally known as Tofino Botanical Gardens) to walk amongst 10 acres of ancient Tla-o-qui-aht territory cedar trees, along beautiful boardwalk trails leading to the Inlet and watch master Nuu’chah’nulth artists and knowledge keepers at work.
Is there somewhere along the way we can stop for coffee?
Kei: It wouldn’t be a morning in Tofino without a stop at Tofino Coffee Co. Seriously, I’m there every single morning. (Local secret: head to their second location, The Roastery on Industrial Way, where there is never a line and the air is always filled with the perfect smell of roasting beans.)
Now we’re starving! Where should we eat?
Kei and Madi: Whether you are looking for breakfast, lunch, or something in-between, every local is heading straight to Adriana’s, Tofino’s very own Italian Sandwich and Pizza shop.
Kei’s favorite: prosciutto sandwich.
Madi’s favorite: honey and salami pizza slice, and a nutella sandwich for dessert.
We’ve got some free time for an afternoon adventure. What do you suggest we do?
Kei and Madi: Step one of any adventure: stop at Chirpz Chicken and grab a fried chicken sando to-go.
Step two: a trip to Tofino is never complete without exploring beautiful Clayoquot Sound, and Northwest Ocean Adventures has you covered. Whether you are looking to fish, go wildlife spotting or take in the beauty that is Clayoquot Sound, Captain Brody always knows where the fish are biting, and the sun is shining.
Where should we head for a post-adventure beer, glass of wine or cocktail?
Madi: Why settle for just a beer or cocktail when you can have both and have them right from the source! Tofino Brewing Co and Tofino Distillery are neighbours on Industrial Way and serve up local beer and cocktail tasting flights!
Personal favorites: Tajuana Go Surfing made with Tofino Distillery’s Jalapeno Vodka and the Black Current Sour from Tofino Brewing Co.
Now we’re hungry again. What’s the plan for dinner?
Kei and Madi: Come say hi! Right outside the doors of the Tofino Brewery you will find us and our truck, Toki Doki. Toki Doki is one of the newest members to the Tofino food scene, bringing a new take on Osaka style Okonomiyaki and Japanese street food. The entire menu pairs perfectly with a beer and good company, and you MUST get the Prawn Okonomiyaki and hand wrapped Gyoza.
It’s patio season! What’s your favourite local patio?
Kei: Rain or shine, Jeju has a heated and sunny patio right in the heart of Tofino! And what pairs perfectly with a patio? Korean comfort food and the kindest staff around.
Must try: the Galbi.
Any tips on a good spot to take in the view and watch the sun go down?
Madi: Head to First Street Dock, grab a Tofino Licks ice cream along the way, and watch the sky and harbour mountains go from pink to yellow as the sun sets.
It’s time to catch some shuteye, where do you suggest we stay?
Madi: The Shoreline, the perfect boutique hotel with harbour views, a-frame cabins and barrel saunas.
Anything we absolutely have to pack in our suitcase while visiting?
Madi: A very good rain jacket (leave the umbrella at home, it’s not how we roll), camera, and a positive and patient attitude.